Open main menu

George D. Webster (USMC)

George Davis Webster (November 27, 1919 - December 16, 1992) was a decorated officer of the United States Marine Corps with the rank of Brigadier General who is most noted as Commanding General, Marine Corps Development and Education Command at Quantico, Virginia.[1][2]

George Davis Webster
George Davis Webster.jpg
BG George D. Webster, USMC
Born(1919-11-27)November 27, 1919
Macon, Georgia
DiedDecember 16, 1992(1992-12-16) (aged 73)
Bethesda, Maryland
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Marine Corps.svg United States Marine Corps
Years of service1941–1971
RankUS-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General
Service number0-7940
Commands heldTroop Training Unit, Pacific
8th Marine Regiment
2nd Battalion, 6th Marines
Battles/warsWorld War II

Vietnam War

AwardsLegion of Merit (3)
Bronze Star Medal (2)
Purple Heart
Commendation Medal

Contents

Early yearsEdit

 
Webster shown here as Captain in 1943.

George D. Webster was born on November 27, 1919 in Macon, Georgia, but his family moved to High Point, North Carolina and young George attended high school there. He was then accepted to the University of North Carolina and graduated in summer 1940 with Bachelor of Science. He entered the Marine Corps service in February 1941 and because of his university education, he was sent to the Officer Candidate School at Quantico Base, Virginia. Following the four-month Reserve officers course, he was commissioned Second lieutenant on May 29, 1941.[1][3]

Webster was then attached to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines under the command of lieutenant colonel William J. Whaling and served as Assistant Mortar Platoon Leader at Camp Lejeune, New River, North Carolina until January 1942. Following the declaration of War on Japan, he was ordered to Panama Canal Zone and served with the Marine Barracks there under Colonel James F. Moriarty until January 1943. While in the Caribbean, he was promoted to the rank of First lieutenant.[2]

He then returned to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and following the promotion to the rank of Captain, Webster assumed duty as Commander of Weapons Company, 1st Separate Battalion. Webster's unit was ordered to Camp Pendleton, California and redesignated 1st Battalion, 24th Marines in March 1943 and attached to the 4th Marine Division under Major general Harry Schmidt following its activation in August of that year.[1]

 
Then-Captain George D. Webster (standing second from left) and officers of D Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, February 1944.

Webster was appointed Commanding officer of Company D in October 1943 and participated in the amphibious exercises along the Santa Margarita River, where regiment practiced night attacks and pillbox assaults. Webster sailed with his battalion for Pacific area at the beginning of January 1944 and after brief stay at Maui, Hawaii, the 24th Marines under the command of Colonel Franklin A. Hart were ordered to the Marshall Islands in order to participate in Roi Namur operation.[4]

Following Roi Namur, Webster was appointed Intelligence officer of 1st Battalion and took part in the Battle of Saipan in June 1944. He was wounded by enemy fire on June 15th and evacuated to the rear for treatment. Webster was declared fit for duty soon afterwards and joined 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines as Major and Executive officer under the command of Major Frank E. Garretson. He took part with that unit in the capture of Tinian in August of that year and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" for his service at Saipan and Tinian and Purple Heart for wounds sustained at Saipan.[1][4][2]

Webster then relieved Major Robert N. Fricke as Executive officer of 1st Battalion, 24th Marines and remained in that capacity during the period of training and reequipment at Maui, Hawaii. During the Battle of Iwo Jima in February 1945, he was appointed Battalion Operations officer under lieutenant colonel Austin R. Brunelli and served in that capacity until the end of hostilities on Iwo Jima. He also received his second Bronze Star for his work during the battle.[1][4][5]

Postwar serviceEdit

Webster served with 24th Marines at Hawaii until October 1945, when the regiment was ordered to San Diego, California for deactivation. The 24th Marines were deactivated on October 31, 1945 and Webster then assumed duty as Special Services Officer at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. His main responsibilities was establish, operate, or supervise the operation of rest camps and rest areas for Camp Lejeune garrison. Webster served in this capacity for almost year until he was ordered for Junior Course at Amphibious Warfare School at Quantico Base.[2]

Following the graduation from the course in summer 1947, Webster was ordered to Naval Air Station Quonset Point, Rhode Island, where he served as the Commanding officer of the Marine Barracks until June 1950. He was then ordered to the Naval Station Anacostia, where he attended the courses in Intelligence and Italian language. While attending the language school, Webster was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant colonel in January 1951.[1]

He was then transferred to Rome, Italy for duty as Assistant naval attache and remained in Europe until July 1953. Webster then attended Senior School at Quantico and assumed duty as Assistant Intelligence Officer of 2nd Marine Division under Major general Reginald H. Ridgely. During his tour of duty with 2nd Division, Webster also served as Commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, before leaving the division in May 1956.[1]

Webster then served as an instructor within Senior School, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico until July 1959, when he was promoted to the rank of Colonel and ordered to Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. for duty as Assistant Intelligence Officer.[1]

Vietnam War eraEdit

 
Brigadier General George D. Webster, Commanding General of Task Force X-Ray, 1st Marine Division, receives the first soda at the 1st Medical Battalion’s new enlisted men’s club.
 
Marine Corps Birthday Celebration at Marine Corps Development and Educational Center, Quantico, Virginia, 10 November 1969. From left: LTG Lewis J. Fields, Commanding general of the Center, LTG Lewis B. Puller (Retired), Guest of Honor and BG Webster, Commanding General, Development and Education Command at Quantico.

In February 1962, Webster was ordered to South Vietnam and attached to Military Assistance Command, Vietnam headquarters under General Paul D. Harkins as Assistant Intelligence officer. He served 13 months in that country and received newly established Joint Service Commendation Medal for service in that capacity.[1]

Upon his return to the States, Webster attended National War College in Washington, D.C. and graduated in June 1964. He then served as Secreatary of the General Staff at Headquarters Marine Corps until July 1966. He left this staff work in Washington for duty as Commanding officer of 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, but remained stateside with that command.

In December 1966, when he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier general and ordered to Coronado, California as new commanding general of Landing Force Training Command, Pacific Fleet. He was responsible for the amphibious training of all units of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific including that ones going to Vietnam and received the Legion of Merit for his service in this capacity.[1]

At the beginning of April 1968, Webster received orders for his second tour of duty in Vietnam. He joined 1st Marine Division under Major general Carl A. Youngdale as Assistant Division Commander and also held additional duty as Commanding general of Task Force X-Ray. He led his command during Operation Houston in Thừa Thiên Province against North Vietnamese and Vietcong units and later in Vĩnh Lộc District.[1][3][6]

Task Force X-Ray was deactivated at the beginning of August 1968 and Webster was ordered to Okinawa as Deputy Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific (Forward). He also held additional temporary duty as Assistant Commander, 3rd Marine Division under Major general Raymond G. Davis until November 7th. His second tour in Vietnam ended in June 1969 and Webster received the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" for "exceptional initiative and ability while rendering invaluable assistant in the enormous task of directing Marine Corps support activities in the Western Pacific area."[1]

Upon his return to the United States and brief leave, Webster began his final tour of duty as Commanding general, Marine Corps Base and Deputy for Support to the Commanding general, Marine Corps Development and Education Command at Quantico, Virginia in July 1969. He remained in that capacity until the end of June 1971, when he retired from the active service on July 1, 1971 following the 30 years of commissioned service. Webster received third Legion of Merit for his service at Quantico.[1]

He settled in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife Dulcie Davidge Webster (1921-2011) and was a member of Army and Navy Club and the Westminister Presbyterian Church. Brigadier general George D. Webster died on December 16, 1992 in Bethesda Naval Hospital following a battle with cancer. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia together with his wife. They had together two children.[3][2]

DecorationsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "George D. Webster Papers – USMC Military History Division". USMC Military History Division. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "George D. Webster, Brigadier General, USMC". Arlington Cemetery Websites. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "BG George D. Webster (1919 - 1992) – Find a Grave Memorial". Findagrave.com. 2018-07-04. Retrieved 2017-12-26.
  4. ^ a b c "George D. Webster - 1st Battalion, 24th Marines websites". 1stbattalion24thmarines.com. 1st Battalion, 24th Marines websites. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  5. ^ "US Marine Corps in World War II - HyperWar (Iwo Jima)". ibiblio.org. HyperWar Websites. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  6. ^ "U.S. Marines in Vietnam: The Defining year 1968" (PDF). USMC Military History Division. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.